International Space Station Welcomes 3 New Astronauts Joining 3 Others in Space

James Marshall
January 16, 2021

The SpaceX Crew-1 mission, with three NASA astronauts and one from the Japanese space agency JAXA on board, is scheduled for launch in early to mid November.

Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos and NASA's Kathleen Rubins launched from the Russian-operated Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 0545 GMT on Wednesday.

About two hours after docking, hatches between the Soyuz and the station will open, and they will join Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy of NASA and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, who have been aboard the complex since April.

"Butch will be able to step in seamlessly, and his previous experience on both space shuttle and space station missions make him a valuable addition to this flight", said Kathy Lueders, associate administrator of NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. NASA had also mentioned before the crewed space-craft made its journey to the space station, the ultrafast method has been tested before using uncrewed Progress resupply spacecraft.

As for the mission of the manned space-flight, the crew members are supposed to bring additional equipment to the ISS to detect an air leak onboard, which persisted since September 2019. Boeing First crew test flight It is now scheduled for next year.

Soyuz Rocket unfolds toward the pad.

SpaceX and Boeing's vehicles were ready as early as 2017, but their development program was delayed for years.

Rubins was added to the crew in May when NASA announced it was purchasing a final Soyuz seat from Roscosmos for $90.25 million. NASA and Roscosmos have successfully collaborated for years, but "this partnership was the product of a different era in US-Russia relations", per NBC.

Despite the historic event last May, thanks to SpaceX, who sent astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the ISS, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is still set this week to go to the ISS from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard the Soyuz rocket of Russian Federation. However, NASA has not yet announced such a deal, so it is unclear when the next American astronauts will fly aboard the Soyuz after performing this mission. It will be a quick trip to the ISS.

A manned Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft carrying three crew members launched from Site No. 41 of the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan at 8:45 a.m. Moscow time. Docking will take place around 4:52 AM on Wednesday, and the crew must board the ISS within 2 hours.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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